Kanaan aims for ‘home fans’ boost after Paris Race of Champions boos

IndyCar star Tony Kanaan hopes there’s no repeat of the “intimidating” boos he received during his Race Of Champions debut, when the all-star racing extravanganza is hosted by his adopted hometown of Miami this weekend.

Kanaan aims for ‘home fans’ boost after Paris Race of Champions boos
Tony Kanaan with the ROC girls
Podium: Race of Champions winner Filipe Albuquerque, second place Sébastien Loeb
Tony Kanaan, Felipe Massa, Juan Pablo Montoya with the ROC girls
The draw for the group stages with Helio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan and Ryan Hunter-Reay
The circuit is paved inside Marlins Stadium
Tony Kanaan, Felipe Massa, Juan Pablo Montoya with the ROC girls
Sébastien Loeb vs Filipe Albuquerque

The 2013 Indy 500 winner first took part in the ROC when it was run inside the Stade de France in Paris in 2004 – and came up against a home hero in his very first experience…

Kanaan recalls: “The race was in France, the Stade de France, and I was in the first heat against Sebastien Loeb – the French hero – so it was very intimidating when I got booed! I got in my car and they were booing me!

“Here, I’m making sure all my friends are gonna be in the same section [of seats] so it won’t happen again! I hope Race Of Champions stays here for many years to come.

“I can feel the vibe – it’s a great event for Miami. I’ve always enjoyed doing it in the past. Due to schedules it was always hard to travel [from America] to Europe, and I remember my first time well when I was [teamed] with Felipe Massa [in 2004].”

Slow is fast, says TK

In terms of the driving technique required around the twisty stadium track layout, Kanaan says that avoiding over-driving is the key.

“The key, for me, is that sometimes you have to drive slow to be fast, actually,” said Kanaan. “It’s a completely different mindset to what you normally have in a racecar. It’s amazing.

“We had a little demonstration in Homestead the other day, and typically I was driving the wheels off the car – and I was going so slowly! And [Juan Pablo] Montoya was just driving around… and going faster.

“With the variety of cars, I think you’ll see some of us better in some type of cars – but I think it’s gonna be a good balance.”

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